Food pantry gets IMS assistance

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

Register/Richard Luken
The Rev. Phil Honeycutt, left, stands with Iola Middle School Spirit Squad member Mackenzie Weseloh and Kathy Chard of Great Southern Bank Monday afternoon. The middle school donated more than 850 canned food items to the Iola Community Pantry, with the bank giving 10 cents for each item.

A canned food drive, scavenger hunt and donation from SAFE BASE assisted Iola Middle Schoolers in their quest to aid needy families for Thanksgiving.
More than 850 canned food items were handed over to the Iola Community Pantry Monday afternoon. In addition, the IMS Spirit Squad took part in a scavenger hunt Friday afternoon to collect more nonperishables for 21 Thanksgiving food baskets.
The goal was to make up 20 baskets, noted Billie Collins, Spirit Squad sponsor, but enough food was collected for an extra basket. SAFE BASE, USD 257’s after-school program, provided money to buy 20 turkeys for the food baskets.
“We put together enough money for another turkey so that all 21 food baskets could be given away,” Collins said.
The canned food drive was highlighted by the sixth-grade class, who gathered more than 570 canned food items.
For winning the schoolwide competition, each sixth-grader was given a gift certificate to purchase an item from the IMS concession stand.
The food drive will reap a financial benefit for the food pantry as well.
Great Southern Bank is chipping in 10 cents for every nonperishable item taken to the Community Pantry during the holiday season, in this case $85.20. That money will be used by the pantry to buy fresh food.